When Am I Eligible For Medicare And How Do I Apply?


It’s Medicare time!  Whether you plan to retire or continue working, if you’re staring down those three months prior to your 65th birthday, you’re rolling into the best opportunity to apply for Medicare. Your IEP (Initial Enrollment Period) or ICEP (Initial Coverage Election Period) is the 7 months surrounding your 65th birthday ( 3 months before/ your birth month/ then 3 months after). Take plenty of time to determine your needs, review what  Medicare offers, evaluate your options, and make informed decisions about your healthcare coverage.

In the past, everyone enrolled in person at their local SSA (Social Security) Office and for those applying for Social Security at the same time, this remains the best way. (Find your local SSA office at https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp).  You may have to wait about a month for your appointment. The SSA enrols people in Medicare; the Medicare Program is actually managed by CMS. (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

How to Apply For Medicare – Your Enrollment Options

You can also apply for Medicare  online at the SSA gov website : (https://www.ssa.gov/medicare/)

or by phone (800-772-1213).

Whichever way you choose, the application form for Medicare Part B is available at-  https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/CMS40B-E.pdf. 

By downloading this form and gathering the information required, you’ll be sure you have everything you need to avoid the delays of a return trip or call. One of the most significant items is the Request For Employment Information (CMS-L564), especially if you plan to continue working. Save yourself  time by discussing this form with the benefits representative  where you work, get it completed if you need it and keep copies of everything, including your official birth certificate.(you’ll need that one for Social Security anyway.)

If the SSA needs to see any of your documents after you’ve submitted your application by phone or the online SSA gov website, they will send you a letter requesting them. If you choose the online application approach, you will be issued a ‘re-entry number’ should you have to log out before completing the forms. Please Note: if you think someone can see or hear your application (like on a public computer) they probably can. Protect your personal information at all times.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Medicare? Medicare Eligibility Age :

Turning 65?

Most Americans are eligible for  Medicare Part  A  (Hospital Insurance)  without premium when they reach age 65.  Most of us will pay a monthly premium for our Part B (Medical Insurance). In 2017 that’s approximately $ 134.00 and is deducted from the Social Security check you receive each month. In the majority of cases, if you do not sign up for Part B when you first become eligible, you will have to pay a monthly late enrollment penalty. Forever.

Medicare Parts A&B are considered Original Medicare, but there is Part C (Medicare Advantage), Part D ( Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage) and MEDIGAP/Supplemental insurances. Most have premiums. The www. Medicare.Gov site clearly defines each of these programs and lets you know exactly which combinations may exist. (Many enrollees  add at least Part D coverage to help with drug costs). These plans are offered by private insurance companies throughout the country and must meet rigid CMS  quality standards. In this way, a  wide variety of affordable coverage is available wherever you live.

Medicare Enrollment Periods

So when should you apply for Medicare? Since Medicare Part A is an entitlement and eligibility is based on having worked in the U.S. you don’t need to sign up.  Medicare Part B is a little different. Your initial enrollment period for Medicare Part B begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month that you’re turning 65, and ends three months after your birthday.

However, if for whatever reason you don’t enrol in Medicare Part A/or B during your initial enrollment period described above, you have another chance each year to sign up during a “general enrollment period” which runs from January 1 through March 31 each year.  Please note you may be required to pay higher premiums for late enrollment and your coverage won’t begin until July unless you qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period”.

How to sign up for Medicare health insurance

There is a  Medicare health insurance plan that suits your needs and you will have a chance each year to review your coverage and make changes. For Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug plans, this is the Annual Enrollment Period, October 15-December 7 of each year, with changes taking effect on January 1.

Medicare supplement plans do not have a required annual enrollment period. Applications are accepted throughout the entire year. For Medicare supplement plans only, certain states allow a birthday rule which is a form of open enrollment around the time of your birthday each year. During that time you can shop pricing and switch to a like plan without any medical underwriting. Check with our Medicare advisors at 866-936-3831 to find out whether your state has the birthday rule enrollment period.

The Special Enrollment Period (SEP)  usually does not require any late penalty and addresses circumstances such as loss of job, moving to another state or loss of Group Health Insurance.

Medicare also identifies and addresses special circumstances such as Disabilities, ALS, ESRD and those who receive Railroad Benefits or additional government assistance.

When You’re Ready to Sign Up for Medicare or Have Questions Call Us :


Choosing the right Medicare plans for your healthcare needs is extremely important, and qualified help is always available. If I can answer any questions, or if you would like assistance in selecting your plans, please contact me. https://medicareful.com/insurelife

To find out about low priced options available to you, please click here in addition, you can speak with a licensed agent by calling  866-936-3831. Gary W Blackmon is licensed Medicare insurance agent and helps customers from California to New York with their Medicare options. If you have any questions about when to apply for Medicare, or how to enrol in Medicare or would like to obtain a quote specific to you, please contact me.

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